How to plan a school family movie night for your PTO with concessions stand popcorn

How to Plan a School Family Movie Night

Thinking of hosting a family movie night at your school for your elementary school?

There’s a bit more to putting on a successful event than just choosing a date and any ole’ movie and calling it a day.  Not much more is involved, but attention to the finer details is important!

Choosing the Right Elementary School Movie

It’s a tough decision to make when choosing between appropriate elementary school movies for a PTO movie night. There are soooooo many choices, and you want to make sure the movie will work for all family members.

Plus, you don’t want to show something that everybody has seen a million times.  So I’ve rounded up a list of G rated movies that are appropriate to show at a school or PTO sponsored movie night!

You can pick a modern classic.  Wall-E falls into that category for me.  Plus, there is very little dialogue, so it’s an especially good choice for a noisy crowd.

If you go with an oldie but goodie, you might find that the parents really want to see the movie (I personally love the Herbie movies and wouldn’t mind seeing the Absent Minded Professor again- hello flubber!) and will bring the kids.

Without further delay, here’s a non-comprehensive and semi-alphabetical list of G rated movies that are perfect for your elementary school movie night!

G Rated Elementary School Movies

101 Dalmatians
102 Dalmatians
The Absent Minded Professor
The Adventures of Milo and Otis
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Alice in Wonderland
Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
An American Tail
The Aristocats
Babe: Pig in the City
Beauty and the Beast
Beethoven’s 5th
Black Beauty
Brother Bear
A Bug’s Life
Cars 2
Cars 3
Charlotte’s Web
Chicken Little
Chicken Run
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Emperor’s New Groove
Escape to Witch Mountain
Finding Nemo
Freaky Friday
The Fox and the Hound
Gnomeo & Juliet
The Great Mouse Detective
Herbie: Fully Loaded
Homeward Bound
Horton Hears a Who!
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Jungle Book
The Land Before Time
The Last Unicorn
The Little Mermaid
The Love Bug
The Lion King
The Great Muppet Caper
March of the Penguins
Mary Poppins
Meet the Robinsons
Monsters Inc.
Monsters University
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Muppets from Space
Muppet Treasure Island
Oliver & Co.
The Peanut Movie
Pete’s Dragon
The Parent Trap
Planet of the Apes (Yes, this is in fact rated G.  I was as shocked as you probably are!)
The Polar Express
The Princess Diaries
The Princess and the Frog
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Rio 2
The Rookie
The Secret Garden
The Secret of NIHM
The Shaggy Dog
Snow White
Sound of Music
The Tale of Despereaux
That Darn Cat
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 3
Wallace and Gromit
The Wiz
Wizard of Oz
Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

One final note about this list of G rated movies…
Some of these movies have been remade with the newer movie having a PG rating, so make sure to find the original G rated version!

Promote the Event

Whatever movie you choose, make sure to promote the heck out of it!  Make sure to send home flyers as well as put up posters around the school to make sure everyone knows about the family movie event!

Need help coming up with a flyer design?  I’ve taken all of the work out of the task with this completely editable and customizable movie night flyer template.  You can add admission and concession details so families know exactly what to expect and also so they can get excited about the event!

The Movie Night flyer has been designed with a grey tone theme to make copying a breeze.  If you’d prefer a different colored background, it’s super easy to change to whatever color you’d like!  Click here for more details.

Concessions Stand

Great Northern Popcorn 6222 GNP 16 Oz. Top 4-in-1 MultiGrill Plus, 16 Ounce, Silver/red

Popcorn is a classic choice to serve at movie night.  If your PTO doesn’t already own at popcorn machine, your group might want to invest in one because this will be a money maker for your group in the long run.

Popcorn is a classic choice to serve at movie night.  If your PTO doesn’t already own at popcorn machine, your group might want to invest in one because this will be a money maker for your group in the long run.
Make sure you get a big commercial machine because popcorn takes a long time to make when you’re making it in mass quantities.  Don’t get a little machine that costs $150 or so because it won’t last through the years and will be frustrating to use because you’ll be limited on the batch size.
Pro tip: For a big movie night, you’ll want to start making the popcorn an hour or two in advance of the doors opening or buy some pre-popped and mix it in with the freshly popped to get you going.
If you choose to serve popcorn, you should definitely offer drinks.  You can get juice boxes in bulk from Costco for a bit under 30 cents a drink.  While you’re at Costco, pick up some bulk candy and offer that in the concessions stand.

Get Licensed

Last, but not least, avoid being a video pirate and get all of your legal ducks in a row by purchasing a movie license.  You can get a single showing license, but another possibility is to see if your school district can purchase a license to cover all buildings.

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